I was just thinking the other day how being a kid can be sort of a bummer. I feel like I’m constantly directing our kids, telling them what to do, and yes, nagging, nagging, nagging them to the point where I get tired of my own voice. Maybe it’s not always like that, but with three kids I need to raise properly and keep clean and protect from sticking their tiny fingers into funky electrical outlets, you know. It sure seems like a lot. Saoirse, though, while lying around yesterday in the middle of the floor that separates the living and dining rooms, staring up at the ceiling with her arms splayed out, set me straight. “You know what, Mom?” she asked. She was still looking at the ceiling. “There’s a lot of things kids do that grown-ups can’t.” I asked her to elaborate.
“They can’t play outside. Not for a long time, anyway.”
“They can’t go down slides. Not all of them.”
“They can’t lie around and do nothing.”
“They can’t play with Crayons.”
“They can’t wear footies.”
Since I was depressed now, I asked her if there’s anything else grown-ups can’t do that children can.
“I don’t know, actually,” was her reply. And then, “Hey, Mommy? Can I read one of these books?”
I watched Saoirse wander over to a bookshelf to pull down a photo album to page through, then looked around the kitchen at the dinner I was cooking, the dishes in the sink, the groceries I was slowly removing from bags on the floor and putting away in the pantry. Saoirse sat cross-legged on the rug, a book open in her lap.
Today, it was Saoirse’s turn to tidy up. We did her day’s homework after lunch, and she had to put back the glue and scissors she’d used. “Being a kid’s so hard,” she sighed. She tucked the glue back into its bin. “But being a kid’s funner, too.” I gave her a kiss and cleared off the rest of the table while I watched her run downstairs to the playroom.
Rub it in, kid. Rub it in.